House OKs on 2nd reading bill to penalize owners of properties used as drug dens, laboratories

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 25 2021 01:37 AM

MANILA - The House of Representatives approved on second reading Tuesday House Bill 7814 that penalizes negligent lessors of properties used as clandestine drug laboratories, among others.

HB 7814 amends Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, in a bid to strengthen the campaign against the proliferation of dangerous drugs.

Among other provisions, the bill provides for a legal presumption on who is considered as the importer, financier and protector or coddler of illegal drugs. 

House Committee on Dangerous Drugs Chair, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers told ABS-CBN that in approving the bill, the chamber also provided the law with teeth that could be used in going after the "big personalities" behind the drug syndicates such as drug lords and coddlers.

Barbers said the lawmakers also added a feature to legally presume owners and managers of houses, condo units, dens, and resorts that are being used for drug sessions or venues for drug sale. 

Barbers likewise divulged that the the law will compel owners to periodically check their condos or houses that are being rented out to submit a periodic report to the local government unit, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Dangerous Drugs Board.

 Barbers said the bill likewise features legal disputable presumptions of owners of cargoes imported or exported which are apprehended and found to have drugs as the one responsible in the importation/exportation of the said drugs.

It also extends the criminal liability to the partner, president, director, manager, trustee, estate administrator, or officer of the corporation or partnership who consents to or tolerates the use of the property of the corporation of partnership as a den, dive or resort to commit violations of RA 9165.

It also limits the validity of drug test certificates issued by accredited drug testing centers to 3 months. It also increases the composition of the Dangerous Drugs Board from 17 to 20 members. It also mandates the conduct of drug testing of Filipino professional and non-professional athletes twice a year.

The bill is due for approval on third and final reading next week.

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